How to Unwind After A Terrible Day At Work 

Has anything like this happened to you at work?

You started out your day in a great mood as you headed out to work. On the job, you were on a roll, getting stuff done, moving projects along, making things happen. You not only liked your job but you were good at it, too. You had a bright future in the company. Then you got called into the human resource office for a performance review. Instead of noticing all the things you’d done right, upper management honed in on your mistakes. They minimized everything you’d done to improve the bottom line.

Shattered by this undeserved performance review, you limped through the rest of your day, watching the clock, eager to get back to the comfort and safety of your beautiful home. Unfortunately, when you got home, you didn’t know how to throw off your sense of futility and despair.

All Careers are Stressful

While you may not have experienced this exact scenario, chances are you have experienced something similar in the workplace: a complete lack of acknowledgment by upper management for your accomplishments and an excessive focus on the few mistakes you’d made on the job.

But here’s the thing: all careers are stressful. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how much you earn or how good you are at your job or even how much you love what you do for a living–there are days when things just seem to fall apart for no good reason. The workplace is often unfair, and the best thing you can do to stay in the game is to find a few simple ways of unwinding from all the stressors of the day.

Nourish Your Body  

While it might be tempting to open your refrigerator and pull out a large tub of Häagen-Dazs, eating comfort food alone will not make you feel better. Instead, you’ll probably feel worse. You’ll feel guilty for your self-indulgence, worry about weight gain, or feel bloated. A much better way of practicing self-love is to prepare yourself a delicious gourmet dinner while sipping on your favorite classic wine from the wine club.

Many gourmet dinners are easy to prepare. You can find great recipes online on how to make an easy gourmet dinner. For example, Jennifer Siegel suggests recipes like Broiled Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet and Tangy Honey Glaze, Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp, or Maryland Crab Cakes with Quick Tartar Sauce.

Feed Your Soul

After your delicious meal, you’ll feel much better about yourself and your life. You’ll feel less agitated about what happened at work. You’ll have concluded that life isn’t all Sturm und Drang (storm and stress), but also has happy and satisfying moments, too. Now amplify your feelings of wellbeing by listening to your favorite music. Perhaps you could listen to some Korngold on the FM dial or listen to some baroque adagios by famous artists from your CD collection.

Calm Your Mind

A good meal and listening to some beautiful music will put you in a better mood. Now it’s time to reframe the day by reflecting on it.

Take out your journal and list out a few of your successes. These could be accomplishments on the job or other achievements in life. Next, think about your experience at work. Put it in perspective.

If you’re at a terrible job–doing the wrong things with the wrong people at the wrong place–then consider the distressing event at work as a wakeup call. It’s telling you to focus on following your dreams and building a life you’ll love.

Conversely, you may already have found the right career, but just need to learn from the mistakes you’ve made so that you can continue to improve your performance on the job. So, rather than feeling chagrin over the events of the day, think of them as a negative feedback loop that is helping you correct your course.